I nominated Jacob as my hero in an international contest run by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). It’s a contest that relies on the assistance of friends, family and strangers because we need people to vote for Jacob. There are currently over 700 nominees and the top 10% who get the most votes make it to the semi-finals where the winners are selected (3 or 4). It is one of the contests where you can vote everyday.
Jacob deserves this honour because when my son was nearing his first birthday, it was excruciatingly painful to watch other children move effortlessly when Jacob could not. It tore at my heart to listen to a toddler’s childish babble when Jacob’s only sound was crying. But my focus started to shift, slowly, to celebrate the joys that Jacob brought into my life. I began to appreciate the beauty of his smile and notice how his enormous green eyes would sparkle when he heard someone sneeze. I praised each painstakingly slow movement of his hands as he tried to touch a toy placed on the tray in front of him. And, to my surprise, he tried even harder with each positive encouragement.
At one year old and weighing just thirteen pounds, my son struggled each day of his life. It wasn’t fair, but if Jacob could find reasons to smile, so could I.
Slowly and subtly, Jacob became my teacher, steering me in directions I could not have imagined. I learned how to be a more tolerant and accepting person. I found the strength to stand up for my son and the courage to combat ignorance.
Jacob has an incredible way of attracting people, it was evident from the time he was an infant in the hospital and nurses would fight over whose turn it was to care for him. This trait has only strengthened as he grows.
Anyone who knows Jake can attest to his constant laughter. His happiness is contagious and addictive, regardless of whether the person is an adult or child, has special needs or is typically-developing.
Jacob appreciates people for who they are and brings out the best in everyone around him.
There is a lot Jacob doesn’t have – he doesn’t have the use of his legs, his arms, or his voice but that hasn’t let it stop him or slow him down.
Jacob loves skiing and swims like a fish. He is a typical boy who hasn’t let his disability stand in his way.
Jacob sees life only as love, laughter and smiles. Despite his constant challenges, his determination is evident as he tries to accomplish tasks that are so hard for him, and things most people take for granted.
At only eleven years old, Jacob is a great teacher and an inspiration to all those who are fortunate enough to know him.
I think he deserves to win. If you do too, please go to the following page and vote for him:
Thank you so much.